Notice from the Jewish Resistance Movement, 1946
This is a leaflet printed by the Jewish Resistance Movement providing the residents of Jerusalem with guidelines for how to protest against the British authorities. The leaflet was published on 9 Tishrei (October 4) 1946 and called on both men and women to withhold their identity cards and their names. Instead of giving their names, they are asked to identify themselves as a Jewish man or woman of the Land of Israel. The leaflet demands people to “guard your honour and the honour of the Yishuv” (the Jewish population of pre-state Israel). All these measures are, it states, designed to prevent the British Mandate from carrying out “their schemes against the immigration, defence and independence of the Yishuv.”
The Jewish Resistance Movement was an umbrella organization of the Jewish underground with representatives from all of the major paramilitary organisations in pre-state Israel. Founded by the Jewish Agency, the Haganah, the Irgun, and the Lehi, the Jewish Resistance Movement existed between October 1945 and August 1946 to protest British policy towards the Jewish community in Palestine and the issue of the “illegal” Jewish immigration after World War II. During this period, the various different factions came together in the attempt to bring an end to the British Mandate. During its short existence, the Jewish Resistance Movement carried out eleven major operations, most notably the release of 200 people from the Atlit detention camp and the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. Following the latter, the Jewish Resistance Movement was dismantled, and each of the founding groups continued operating according to their own policy.
Interestingly, this notice was printed after the group had been officially disbanded earlier that year. This may suggest that the name of the organisation was still being used in order to support a call to action.
For Sociology, Jewish History or Civics teachers, this resource can be used to provide insight into the tensions existing in pre-state Israel and the use of violent and non-violent resistance.
Jewish History teachers can use this resource to discuss the Jewish Resistance Movement and the other Jewish underground organisations and their actions in the years before the establishment of the State. More advanced classes can debate the extent to which these actions forced the British to leave Palestine.
Who created this notice?
When was this notice created?
Who is the notice aimed at?
What does the notice advise people to do?
Reading Between the Lines
Why was this notice created?
What was the Jewish Resistance Movement?
Why were these specific steps advised?
Explain why the line “Guard your honour and the honour of the Yishuv” was included.
If you had seen this notice, would you have followed these instructions?
Do you think that such steps were necessary at the time? Why or why not?
Research an issue in modern-day Israel or in your own country which you believe it is worth protesting against for the sake of protecting Jewish rights.
Design a poster to attract as many people as possible to your cause.
Man of Jerusalem!
The Jewish Resistance Movement calls on you to:
Not go willingly to prison
Not go willingly to any place that the [British) authorities or army order you to go to
Guard your honour and the honour of the Yishuv
In the event of a curfew:
Don’t assist the police in identifications
Don’t show your identification papers
Don’t give your name
Your name is: “A Jewish man in the Land of Israel”
“A Jewish woman in the Land of Israel”
We will make it difficult for the authorities to carry out their schemes against the immigration, [ha’apala] , the defence, and the independence of the Yishuv.
Jerusalem, 9 Tishrei, 5707